Lotta Balls, Lotta Balls Wall 5.8
Avg time to climb route: 2 hours
Approach time: 1 hour
Descent time: 2 hours
Number of pitches: 3
Height of route: 600'
OverviewThe classic of the area, Lotta Balls was a scary face in the pre-sticky rubber days. Randy Grandstaff drilled the 1/4” bolt in 1977 while standing on small knobs, and amazingly it was not replaced until 25 years later! While modern sticky rubber may make the moves easier, it is still an intimidating lead for the 5.8 leader. Killer crack and flake climbing, the namesake knobby face, and a cool dihedral are the highlights. Many people rappel off the top of the second pitch to avoid the walk-off, which, while fairly short, has 3 short rappels, some 4th class scrambling, and brush, trees, and loose rock.
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HistoryFA: Betsy and Joe Herbst, Randal Grandstaff, Tom Kaufman, 3/77.
The first ascent of this route was accomplished in March 1977 by Joe and Betsy Herbst, Tom Kaufman, and Randal Grandstaff. This was an impressive assembly of the first wave of Red Rocks pioneers. Joe Herbst was the granddaddy of modern Red Rocks climbing. Most conspicuous for his first ascents of the original “big three” walls (Rainbow, Velvet, and Aeolian), he was also the driving force behind a spectacular array of long free climbs and high quality crag routes. With his quiet competence and strict clean climbing ethic, he became a role model and inspiration for the emerging generation of locals who would carry Red Rocks climbing into the future.
Randal Grandstaff was the first of that new generation. He was a young teenager in the early 1970s when he befriended Joe, who was only a few years older. A few years can mean a big difference to an enthusiastic 14 year old with a passion to climb. Joe’s experience (he had been to Yosemite and climbed El Cap!) represented the goal toward which young Randal aspired.
Tom Kaufman was not a local Las Vegas resident, but his close friendship with Joe meant frequent visits and many climbs. If you leaf through t... [full history for SuperTopo members only!]
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